Association with HLA-DRβ1 position 37 distinguishes juvenile dermatomyositis from adult-onset myositis


Deakin CT, Bowes J, Rider LG, Miller FW, Pachman LM, Sanner H, Rouster-Stevens K, Mamyrova G, Curiel R, Feldman BM, Huber AM, Reed AM, Schmeling H, Cook CG, Marshall LR, Wilkinson MLIG, Eyre S, Raychaudhuri S, Wedderburn LR, and the Juvenile Dermatomyositis Cohort and Biomarker Study, the Childhood Myositis Heterogeneity Study Group MG. Association with HLA-DRβ1 position 37 distinguishes juvenile dermatomyositis from adult-onset myositis. Human Molecular Genetics 2022;31(14):2471–2481.



Juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM) is a rare, severe autoimmune disease and the most common idiopathic inflammatory myopathy of children. JDM and adult-onset dermatomyositis (DM) have similar clinical, biological and serological features, although these features differ in prevalence between childhood-onset and adult-onset disease, suggesting that age of disease onset may influence pathogenesis. Therefore, a JDM-focused genetic analysis was performed using the largest collection of JDM samples to date. Caucasian JDM samples (n = 952) obtained via international collaboration were genotyped using the Illumina HumanCoreExome chip. Additional non-assayed human leukocyte antigen (HLA) loci and genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were imputed. HLA-DRB1*03:01 was confirmed as the classical HLA allele most strongly associated with JDM [odds ratio (OR) 1.66; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.46, 1.89; P = 1.4 × 10-14], with an independent association at HLA-C*02:02 (OR = 1.74; 95% CI 1.42, 2.13, P = 7.13 × 10-8). Analyses of amino acid positions within HLA-DRB1 indicated that the strongest association was at position 37 (omnibus P = 3.3 × 10-19), with suggestive evidence this association was independent of position 74 (omnibus P = 5.1 × 10-5), the position most strongly associated with adult-onset DM. Conditional analyses also suggested that the association at position 37 of HLA-DRB1 was independent of some alleles of the Caucasian HLA 8.1 ancestral haplotype (AH8.1) such as HLA-DQB1*02:01 (OR = 1.62; 95% CI 1.36, 1.93; P = 8.70 × 10-8), but not HLA-DRB1*03:01 (OR = 1.49; 95% CR 1.24, 1.80; P = 2.24 × 10-5). No associations outside the HLA region were identified. Our findings confirm previous associations with AH8.1 and HLA-DRB1*03:01, HLA-C*02:02 and identify a novel association with amino acid position 37 within HLA-DRB1, which may distinguish JDM from adult DM.

Last updated on 11/18/2022